As the world’s rarest ape, the main threat facing Hainan gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) is habitat degradation and loss caused by human disturbances. The insufficient area and continuous human disturbance in most of the existing habitats can hardly maintain the future recovery and development of the gibbon population. A large area of secondary tropical montane rainforest in recovery was retained in Bawangling National Nature Reserve after disturbance. Therefore, it is of great significance to study the recovery of these secondary forests for the protection and restoration of Hainan gibbon habitat. To explore the recovery of secondary tropical rainforests after different disturbances, and whether they have the potential to serve as the future habitats for Hainan gibbon, we calculated four dynamic indexes (including recruitment rate, mortality/loss rate, relative growth rate, and turnover rate) of abundance and basal area for the total community and for food plants of Hainan gibbon based on data from two censuses of secondary forests recovered nearly 45 years after different disturbances (clear-cutting and selective-logging) and old-growth forest of the tropical montane rainforest. The results are as follows: (1) There were no significant differences in recruitment rates, mortality rates, and turnover rates of abundance and basal area between recovered clear-cutting forests, selectively logged forests, and old-growth forests. (2) Abundance, basal area, and species of small (1 < DBH ≤ 10 cm) and medium (10 ≤ DBH < 30 cm) food plants in the two disturbed forests were higher, while those of large food plants (DBH ≥ 30 cm) in the two forests were lower than in old-growth forests. (3) For the common food species occurring in all three kinds of communities, the relative growth rate of most small trees in the clear-cutting forests was higher than that of old-growth forests. Our research demonstrates that the lack of large food plants is the key limiting factor for the development of the secondary mountain rainforest as habitat for Hainan gibbon at present. However, it has great potential to transform into suitable habitats through targeted restoration and management due to the high recruitment rate and relative growth rate of the small- and medium-sized food plants.